Three Share Lead Annika Wie Struggle

By Sports NetworkJuly 20, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Evian MastersEVIAN-LES-BAINES, France -- Marisa Baena, who won this year's HSBC Match Play Championship, fired a 6-under-par 66 Wednesday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Evian Masters.
Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam had four birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey Wednesday.
Baena is joined at the top of the leaderboard by Carin Koch, who won the Corona Morelia Championship earlier this year, and Lynnette Brooky.
Paula Creamer posted a 4-under-par 68 and stands in a tie for fourth with Becky Brewerton and Christina Kim.
Annika Sorenstam, the top player in the women's game, returned to action for the first time in three weeks. She managed an even-par 72 at Evian Masters Golf Club and stands in a tie for 23rd.
The Swede opened with a birdie on the first, but faltered to a bogey on the fourth.
At the 10th, Sorenstam converted a birdie putt. She parred her next four holes before stumbling to a double bogey on 15 after hitting her tee shot out of bounds. The 34-year-old birdied her next two holes to get to minus-1, but bogeyed the last.
'It is not a good score,' Sorenstam said bluntly. 'I am very, very disappointed.'
Fifteen-year-old Michelle Wie, coming off a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Men's Amateur Public Links championship last week, posted a 3-over- par 75 and is tied for 45th. She carded one birdie, two bogeys and a double bogey over the front nine. Around the turn, the young Hawaiian managed a birdie and a bogey.
Koch, who finished second here in 1996, birdied the second from 15 feet out to open her round. The Swede drained back-to-back birdies from the seventh to move to minus-3.
She parred four straight around the turn, then birdied the 13th. Koch closed her round with consecutive birdies from the 17th.
'I had a good day and hit the ball very well,' Koch said. 'I think I only missed two greens and I don't think I missed a fairway. I hit it pretty consistent. I had a lot of birdie chances and managed to make a few of them.'
Brooky quickly moved to minus-2 with a chip-in birdie on the third and a 3-foot birdie putt on five. She tripped to a bogey on No. 8, but came right back with a birdie on nine from 6 feet out.
Brooky made a 9-foot birdie putt on the 11th, then moved to minus-5 with back-to-back birdies from the 13th.
She bogeyed the par-5 15th. Brooky got that stroke back with a birdie at the next. She closed with a 6-foot birdie putt at the last to share the lead.
'When you tee off at the Evian Masters, you know you are going to have smooth greens because the greens here are very nice to putt on,' said Brooky. 'The footprints are not there.'
Baena got off to a fast start with an 8-foot birdie putt on the first. After a pair of pars, she sank a birdie putt on the fourth. The Columbian closed out her first nine with a birdie from 6 feet out on the ninth.
The 28-year-old climbed to 4 under with a kick-in birdie on the 12th. Baena birdied the par-5 15th after pitching her third to 2 feet. She made it two straight as she also birdied the 16th. She closed with a pair of pars to close out a bogey-free round.
'It was very, very solid round,' Baena said. 'I didn't make any long putts. I only missed one green, which I got up and down. I had a lot of opportunities for birdie that I didn't make. I had another four birdie opportunities that were inside of eight feet, but I just didn't make those putts. So it's just exciting, I'm playing really well right now.'
Beth Daniel, Kirsty Taylor, three-time runner-up here Maria Hjorth and two-time champion Laura Davies share seventh place at 3-under-par 69.
Wendy Doolan, the defending champion, carded just one birdie en route to an 8-over 80. She stands in a tie for 73rd.
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

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    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

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    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

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    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”